Thursday, January 27, 2011

A dearth of fruit

This is the season when I begin to long for fresh fruit. That crisp apple, that juicy peach, those firm, sweet strawberries that I can pluck directly from the vine—where are they? At present the apples are dried and in a container in my cabinet, the strawberries are in a bag in the freezer and the peaches are nowhere since we didn’t can any this year.

Finding local fruit all year round only seems to be possible through serious and varied preservation, then it still isn’t enough to satisfy my desires. I love fresh oranges and I just don’t know that it’s possible to grow them anywhere in Kentucky. The same goes for avocados. I have considered trying a lemon tree that I could bring inside during the winter.

Rather than lamenting what I don’t have, however, let me consider what I do have in terms of fruit. Perhaps considering it now in the low, fresh food season will be good motivation for this year’s planting and preservation planning.

In my kitchen, I do have:
Dried apples
Apple and pear chutney
Frozen apple pie filling
Frozen strawberries, blueberries and blackberries
Berry jam

Most of these fruits I’ll eat with breakfast. The dried applies are great in any hot cereal as well as in muffins and coffee cakes. Although I understand chutney is good with meat, my favorite way to eat it is with cream cheese between two pieces of homemade bread on a sandwich I’ve made with my panini press. The frozen berries I warm in the microwave and use in plain yogurt with nuts, to top waffles or to use in a smoothie. The jam isn’t just good for toast; it’s a find topping for a crostata or ingredient in other desserts.

All of those options are good, but I would like to have more choices next winter. It’s time to look at those seed and nursery catalogs and see what I can plan.

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